Here's an offseason staple: the "Mediocre/Inconsistent Player faces questions about his performance all the time, but he takes it in stride because its all part of the job" articles, featuring loads of quotes from Mediocre/Inconsistent Player about the situation. Sometimes the writer's tone suggests it's not quite fair that Mediocre/Inconsistent Player always faces this scrutiny; sometimes the tone does suggest that criticism and questioning is justified when it comes to Mediocre/Inconsistent Player. Regardless of the writer's tone, the subject is predictable and easy. It's something to write about a Mediocre/Inconsistent Player that is still inexplicably in a position of importance.
In "Scrutiny only sure thing for Vikings' Jackson" in the Star Tribune, Chip Scoggins and Judd Zulgad give Tarvaris Jackson the genre treatment. The article features sentences such as:
"Another day, another round of difficult questions for the Vikings quarterback."
"Perhaps that's why Jackson acted neither surprised nor angry that he found himself under the microscope again at the community outreach event this week."
"Until he's able to do that, Jackson knows he will continue to face criticism and pointed questions."
Jackson has a lot to say about how he understands the situation, just deals with it, and tries to play well. Of course he does. What's he going to say? "I know I'm mediocre and inconsistent, but all this questioning and criticism and speculation is unjustified and unfair"?
But why do I feel like I've been reading articles like this about Tarvaris Jackson since I first learned to read, and why do I feel like I'll be reading articles like this about Tarvaris Jackson for as long as there is a Minnesota Viking franchise? Gus flushes the toilet in The Dumb Waiter less often than I read these articles about Tarvaris Jackson, and his trips to the john are a lot less monotonous.